Tag Archives: Merida

Giant Bag of Clothes, Part 1

I am so excited! I have this awesome new find to show you all. I was at the thrift store on base yesterday. We were doing our normal shopping, and in the consignment area I saw a gallon sized bag of Barbie clothes. At first I wasn’t sure if it was worth the price, $5.00, but then I realized that some thrift stores charge $1.00 per outfit and this bag clearly has more than five outfits. I ended up buying it because the Rapunzel dress was calling to me, and I am incredibly happy that I splurged. This bag has so much cool stuff inside of it that I can’t believe I ever hesitated to buy it.

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I was so excited to open the bag when I got home that I didn’t take a picture of it until after I had cut the top off. Oops! I haphazardly put the stuff back inside of the bag and took a picture for posterity, as you can see above. After that, I started sorting through everything in the bag. I was not disappointed by the contents. It contains 23 outfits, a few miscellaneous pieces of clothing, 20 pairs of shoes, 9 brushes, 2 handbags, 5 hats, 5 Barbie hangers, 1 mirror, and 1 pair of purple glasses. This bag of clothes was able to single-handedly solve the problem of naked dolls without me having to make them all myself. Well worth five bucks!

The one bummer is something that happened to the purple glasses. They were bent, and I broke them when I tried to bend them back into place. It was my mistake; I should have warmed them up before I tried to mess with them. I may try to glue them back together, but that is a topic for another time. For now, I will go ahead and show you the most complete outfits. There were a few miscellaneous single pieces of clothing that I didn’t picture (a few pairs of shorts and a broken halter top, to be exact), and they may show up randomly another time. This is the vast majority of the contents of the bag. Because it takes time for me to upload and write about the pictures, I am breaking this up into two or three blog posts. I will work on them and get them published as quickly as possible.

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First up is an awesome cape! I love the color of it. The deep red is stunning and matches the Merida doll perfectly. It can even tame her hair. I don’t know what doll the cape is from. It doesn’t have any tags or marks, and I don’t recognize it from anywhere. It reminds me of something worn in The Lord of the Rings, but I wasn’t able to find anything online with the same color (their capes were all green). Even if it is unidentifiable, I think it is a lovely piece and I am very happy to have it as part of the collection.

**Update**
A giant thank-you to Audrey B. for telling me that this cape comes from the Star Wars Episode 1 Hidden Majesty Queen Amidala doll. You can see a picture of it here!

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This is a generic doll in an oversized sleeping shirt. For this outfit, the accessories make it awesome. She has a towel on her head (held on by a clear band) and a blow dryer in her hand. She also has a pair of cute white flats on. I’m not sure if I love the oversized pajamas, but everything else about this is a lot of fun. It certainly makes this less-than-stellar doll look as good as the real Barbies. My favorite piece from this outfit is the towel. I wan’t able to find out what doll(s) the outfit and accessories are from.

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This outfit is amazing! It is a paisley halter top bikini with a pair of red sandals. Splash n’ Color Kira pulls it off better than any other doll I own. I tried to find out what set this bikini came with, but that turned into a wild goose chase. I found a picture of a fashionista doll wearing the same top and a Ken doll wearing a pair of trunks in the same pattern, but I could not find out what this outfit was called or what doll it came with. Oh well; you win some and you lose some.

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This outfit is adorable, and it matches the doll fairly well! When I first picked her up, I thought she was a Taylor Swift doll. Once I researched her, I realized it was actually a Hannah Montana doll. I would like to think it is because the bodies for Jaaks dolls are similar, but in reality it is probably just because I need to listen to more contemporary music. But enough about the doll, we are here for the clothes. None of these pieces for this outfit had a Barbie tag, and none of them came from a set I am familiar with. Either way, I think this is an adorable outfit that is well made. The jeans have really grown on me; I may need to bleach and sew some tassels onto a pair of my jeans to match it.

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Here is Belle in a pink dress! This dress is adorable, but the clear straps on it are broken. I am not sure if I can fix it… I know that I may be able to sew it back on, but I have had terrible luck sewing these plastic bands back onto clothing. I haven’t decided exactly what I want to do. It doesn’t stay up very well without the straps, so I do need to figure something out. I may end up adding a piece of lace or ribbon to the top in order to make the dress stay up properly.

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I LOVE this outfit. This outfit is the hidden gem that I found in the bottom of the bag. It is bright, beautiful colors that fits perfectly on the Fashionistas Nikki doll. I also found this awesome handbag for her to wear with it. It matches the outfit perfectly and the entire outfit has a fun attitude. I gave her a pair of tall boots and now we are ready to go out on the town!

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Just for fun, I had to dress up the Flower Power Teresa doll I used for Peri in something fun. It is a lovely and light yellow outfit. I think it is missing an under-skirt or bikini bottom because of how transparent the lace skirt is. I really like the hat. It needs to be ironed for it to fit really well, but it is adorable. I also like the cute yellow heels I found; they match the top perfectly. This is a fun spring outfit; I may use it for Easter this year.

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This is a Disney Aurora doll in a short dress. I was surprised by how well the dress fits; the fabric is stretchy and doesn’t fall down like some of the other dresses. It is a great piece that could work well with any number of dolls. This picture also shows one of the two head scarves that came in the bag. They have the Barbie tag in a really awkward place, but otherwise they are lovely scarves.

That is it for today! I had a lot of fun dressing up the dolls and being able to share them with everybody. The revised pattern for Ood trousers is taking longer than expected. I also have a few Easter commissions that have taken center stage this week, so it is hard to find time to work on them. I will do my best to carve out an hour or two each day to get the pants knocked out and the next Whovian update taken care of. Until then, have a fantastic day!

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Ood Pants, Take 1

In an ongoing attempt to preserve my sanity, I decided to take a break from the Ood mask. I finally finished the main body of it, but I need some time to decompress before I embroider and crochet features onto it. To fill that time, I have been working on a pair of pants for the Ood to wear. It was a fairly simple knit; it only took a few days to complete.

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For this project, I used pattern 967 from the Sticka till Barbie website. I liked this pattern because it looked great on the dolls in their pictures and matched the aesthetic I was going for. I used my new set of 2.00 mm double pointed knitting needles and black size 10 crochet thread to create them. The weird thing about using the tiny new set of needles is that I felt like I would bend them in my hands. They’re just so dainty! They’re made of aluminum, so the chances of me bending them were nil. Still, it seemed like more of a concern with this pair of needles than with the slightly larger plastic 2.25 mm needles I had used to make a pair of pants for Ken. I also believe the stitches are noticeably tighter and just look better than the previous pair of pants I made. It simply amazes me how much the size of needles can affect a finished piece, even when that difference is a fraction of a millimeter.

Overall, using the DPNs was very easy for this project. In fact, it had an advantage over regular needles. When I had to knit the second leg, I kept the first leg on one needle and picked a new needle out of the package to knit the second one. I didn’t have to slide it onto a holder! This saved me a fair amount of time and frustration. With these needles, I rarely had a problem with stitches falling off of either end. I really like these new needles and plan on using them for more projects moving forward.

Even with awesome needles, the actual knitting part was frustrating at times simply because of how tiny everything is. Doing a pearl increase with the dainty needles is the very definition of frustrating. It happened four times, and each time was incredibly hard to get right. I had a minor problem at the beginning of the first leg when I twisted a stitch at the end of a row; luckily it wasn’t noticeable after the piece was sewn together. I also ran into bigger problems towards the end. I forgot to properly secure the final stitch when I first cast off, so while handling the piece I unraveled half of the cast-off row. It was a pain to fix and took over half an hour because I had a terrible time seeing which way I needed to knit/pearl each stitch. Not all of the stitches were straight on the hook, so I had to make sure that I was picking up the correct side of each loop or it would have made the top row look wonky. This was tedious and time consuming. After doing that, I thought it couldn’t get any worse. Oh, how very wrong I was….

Once I finished casting off, I sewed the pants together with a tapestry needle. When I was finished sewing, I realized that I had made a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad mistake. My cast-off row way too tight. It was so tight that it barely had any stretch to it. I couldn’t easily fix this because I used the loose end to sew from the back of the pants and down one leg – it would take hours to work the end back to the top without ruining the piece. I briefly considered cutting a stitch on the top row and just rejoining a new piece of thread for a looser row, but this seemed dicy. What if I dropped a stitch? What if I cut into the row below? With the sewing already finished, I couldn’t risk ruining the entire piece. I felt like a total novice for not noticing it. I know better than to cast off so tightly, but I think that I was so frustrated from the previous mishap that I let the cast-off get away from me. I tried to stretch the pants, but it was futile. The thread would break before it fit over the hips of either Ood doll. For a moment, it felt like I had put in all that effort for nothing.

Then I remembered that not every doll has hips like the belly-button type of Barbie. I looked through my dolls, and I was encouraged to find a few that these pants do fit. They fit the Disney Rapunzel and Merida dolls that I have. Both dolls have a smaller body, smaller thighs, and smaller hips than the Barbie dolls. The tight cast-off barely fits over Merida’s thighs, but it is a good fit on her waist once the pants are on her. Rapunzel is slimmer all around, and this causes the pants to try and slip off. I think that they are a better fit for Merida, overall.

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Besides the fact that they don’t fit the Ood dolls, I’m not sure that I like these pants for an Ood. They are right against the skin of the Disney dolls, and I’m sure that they would be snug on the larger Barbie dolls. The pants from the Ood pictures I am basing the dolls on depict a roomier leg, so I may have to make my own pattern. I looked through some of the patterns on the Sticka till Barbie website and they all seemed to be the similar to this pattern of pants with only slight variations – often just the color. I think I will make my own pattern for these pants and post it here on the blog. It will be fun to do a knitting pattern for once! That is the one silver lining from this hot mess of an experience.

That is it. I spent a ridiculous number of hours making a pair of pants that don’t even fit the doll I intended them for. Just my luck! Even with the problems I encountered, I feel good about where I’m taking the Ood. Considering the style, I probably would have made a new pair of pants if they had fit, so it isn’t that big of a loss. Plus, I have a cool new pair of pants for the princess dolls to wear as they blaze new trails. It could have been worse. My next update will be about the Ood mask. I will buckle down and finish the first one over the next few days, and I look forward to sharing the journey.

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Winter Shopping

Before the latest snow storm came through our area, I had a chance to do one more big shopping trip. I mainly finished up my Christmas shopping, but, as always, I made some time to visit some thrift stores in the city. While there, I found some pretty cool stuff!

First I stopped at a store just south of the city. I like the store, but I just don’t make it to that area very often. I am very happy that I shopped there today because I found a couple of dolls.

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The first doll is a generic doll with a vinyl head and hollow plastic body (this picture does not do justice to how bad this doll looks). The second doll is a Disney Merida doll. I want you all to know that I would not have bought the first doll under normal circumstances. You see, the people at this store are very smart. They know that nobody in their right mind would buy the weird doll with the mismatched body and head, so they packaged her with a nice Disney doll and sold them together. Well played, pricing manager. Well played.

Anyways, they were packaged together and for $3.00 I bought them both. The Merida doll comes from Target. I was lucky enough to find a useful blog post about this doll by the Thrift Store Dolls blog that matches her dress and weird arms exactly. She is a Merida doll from Target circa 2011. She is one of the cheaper dolls produced, but that’s okay with me. My doll is missing the crown and belt, but she does still have her dress. That’s more than most dolls I find at thrift stores. Overall, she is a cool find.

As for the other doll, it’s head is vinyl while the body is hollow plastic. I doubt that the head was originally made for this body because the neck seems too short and too big for it. I don’t think it is glued on because you can twist the head. I don’t want to pull the head off because she has already been claimed by my kiddo. Said offspring is young enough that she doesn’t seem to mind the aesthetic problems. Her only real concern is the reaction she gets when she throws the doll at the cat. Merida will stay as just Merida for now, but she is a strong candidate for Amy Pond or River Song. I have another ginger doll that I adore, and either one could be transformed into those characters.

After finding those two dolls, I was super excited when I saw this in another toy bin.

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Not only is it a male doll, but I know I had an Aladdin doll growing up and it made me nostalgic. However, my initial glee was dashed once I took a closer look at the doll. He has markings on his body in permanent marker, his neck was torn open and was haphazardly re-glued, and he was vastly overpriced for a broken toy. $2.00 is what they wanted for this. Can you believe that? If he were intact, it would be a fair price (especially considering he isn’t nude and comes with his original pants). However, his head was literally falling off and the vinyl is torn beyond repair. Just look at it; it isn’t an easy fix.

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This doll would have been thrown in the trash at the thrift store I used to work for. It never would have made it onto the floor, and if a manager had put a broken doll on the floor, then they wouldn’t have overpriced it. It will be interesting to see if he is still there the next time we make it to that thrift store. I hope people have enough sense to know that even a Disney prince doll is worthless when it is in such terrible condition.

Back to shopping! I went to a new thrift store next. It was one my husband had pointed out to me a while ago, but we didn’t have time to stop that day. It was nicely set up, and I found some small knitting needles. My only qualm with their store is that their pricing was deceptive. The sign said $1 for knitting needles. In the jar, needles were taped in groups of 4 needles, so one can reasonably assume that each group is $1. Apparently, each pair is $1 and each taped group is $2. While I think $1 per pair is a fair price for knitting needles, I am miffed that their pricing was deceptive. Who knows what other surprises I’ll find if I keep shopping there? I don’t think I’ll be going back to this store because of this unpleasant experience.

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These needles are size one, two, and four. They are small enough for me to tackle some of the doll knitting patterns that I have seen posted online. I am excited! I hope to increase my knitting skills and doll wardrobe with them. It should be a lot of fun!

After a few more miscellaneous stops, I went to my favorite thrift store. It was happy hour (half off already amazing prices – YES), and I found an awesome vintage doll. She cost $0.12!

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Her shirt and skirt are from the Cool Times Midge doll, but the leggings are from the Cool Times Fashions Dance Outfit. The leggings for the original Cool Times Midge were spotted. I’m not sure what the doll is. I want to say she is Cool Times Midge, but her eyeshadow color is wrong (the doll in every picture I’ve seen has blue eyeshadow and my doll has copious amounts of green eyeshadow) and and the freckles are wrong (my doll has no freckles while the dolls pictured online all have freckles). Even with these discrepancies, I am going to call her Cool Times Midge. She bares enough resemblance that I feel confident in calling her that, but feel free to comment with a correction if you recognize her.

**Update** This doll is Dance Club Kayla from 1989. This explains her makeup and crimped hair. A giant thank you to Taswegian1957 for her awesome knowledge of dolls. You rock!

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I am excited to have such a distinctive doll! These late 80’s dolls are so much fun. I think I will keep her as-is for the foreseeable future. She is just too cool to change drastically.

My final stop was at the local Goodwill. I found a couple of awesome dolls there! They cost $1.00 each, which is a fair price for the area. First up is an amazing vintage doll from the 70’s.

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This doll is a very unique find. I knew she was special in the store because of the date stamped on her back – 1958 Korea.

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The older mold combined with the fact she wasn’t made in China told me that she is a pre-80’s doll. After some research, I found out she is a Barbie #7382 made in 1977. I lucked out because the My Vintage Barbie blog profiled this doll in a blog post last month. Without their information, I would have had a much harder time identifying her.

A few cool facts about this doll are that she was not sold in the United States, she used the Stacey head mold, and her stamp changed several times. I know she is a 1977 doll because of her stamp. Earlier dolls had a different wording on the stamp, and later dolls had a different stamp and different eye paint. Overall, I am very excited to add her into the fold. I don’t want to do anything extreme with her, but she could easily be a supporting character from any number of episodes.

The final doll I found is a more modern doll from the 90’s or 00’s in a cute dress. She is also the most striking of all the dolls I found this trip because she perfectly fits an idea I currently have for a Barbie Who? doll.

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I don’t know if her hair is supposed to be short or if she got a haircut, but I love it! It matches what I have in mind for Peri. Even her earrings match the color Peri wears. This doll is absolutely perfect for Peri. I now have crochet thread and the perfect doll, so there is no doubt that Peri will be the next subject for Barbie Who? – the universe is simply demanding it.

**Update** This doll is Flower Power Teresa released in 2000. The original doll did have long hair, so her last owner chopped it off. Another gigantic thank you to Taswegian1957 for the identification.

She isn’t pristine, though. This doll has some blue paint on her face that I need to remove without ruining her face paint. That will be the biggest challenge with this doll. She also has a price marked on her in permanent marker on her foot. My biggest gripe with the local goodwill is that they use permanent marker to put prices on the feet or back of dolls. This is treatable, but it kills me to see really neat dolls with such preventable marks. Other stores either have uniform pricing for all dolls or they bag the dolls. Once or twice I’ve even seen dolls with a plastic tag or sticker. I would much rather use a degreaser to get the sticky ick off of a doll than spend three days getting out permanent marker stains. I’m sure most people buying dolls would feel the same. /endrant

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This trip was a lot of fun. I found some fun vintage dolls, my daughter has a new doll to play with, and I know what direction I want to take the blog next. I am also thoroughly snowed in, so I have plenty of time to work on new patterns. Once I finish my Christmas crafting, I can begin on round two of Barbie Who? Just hang in there! The new year will bring plenty of time to devote to making clothes and doing other crafts.

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